Sajjad Karim on the Democratic Deficit

Conservative Euro-MP Saj Karim made the following response to an article by Larry Elliot in the Guardian about the cabal running Europe. Mr Elliot’s article can be read online here.


Larry Elliot’s article on Europe’s democratic deficit (Guardian 8/11/11) may have been stating the obvious but we do need to debate it.

The European Union has always had a problematic relationship with democracy. Ireland said no to the Nice Treaty in a referendum and was ordered to hold a second ballot to ensure victory.

Yes, a cabal runs Europe, it would be worrying if their policies were working but they are not.

The trouble for the average citizen is that governments come and go but the policies remain. The question ‘why bother’ is then asked leaving a vacuum for a cabal to survive. Turnout across Europe at the last EU elections was 43%, hardly a ringing endorsement.

Democracy is not a given thing; it is a concept to create, recreate and enforce. The power of the cabal will be broken when we learn to trust the citizen and involve them in the decision making process. We must debate directly electing commissioners and making the Council transparent. And first to go must be the closed list system for electing MEPs.

The EU is an ongoing experiment with 60 years old achievements and failures, the only way it can be a successful experiment is to never stop striving for improvement


MEP for North West England


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